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County Asks Report on Teen Bathhouse Nights

December 30, 1987|LYNN O'SHAUGHNESSY and STEVE PADILLA | Times Staff Writers

Responding to reports of "twinkie teen night" promotions at a North Hollywood bathhouse, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday directed health authorities to determine whether discounts are being used to lure teen-agers to bathhouses for homosexuals.

Supervisor Mike Antonovich urged the Department of Health Services to "take action to prohibit the luring of teen-agers into the bathhouses," saying it is deplorable to expose teen-agers to "high-risk sexual activity."

Antonovich said he requested the investigation because he heard that a North Hollywood bathhouse, the Compound, advertised discounts for young customers on what Antonovich said are called "twinkie teen nights."

It is illegal to admit people under 18 to a bathhouse unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian, said Vivian Rosenberg, a health department spokeswoman.

The Board of Supervisors, which has tried to close bathhouses in the past, unanimously approved the motion. An effort to shut bathhouses last year because of the AIDS epidemic was blocked by a Superior Court ruling.

The number of bathhouses in the county has dwindled to 12, four of them in the San Fernando Valley, since the outbreak of acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

The manager of the Compound could not be reached for comment, but two cashiers at the bathhouse said a student discount is offered to college-age men, not high school students. Customers must present proof that they are at least 18 years old, said the cashiers, who declined to give their names.

A former Compound employee, who requested anonymity, said the Compound has been advertising discounts for teen-agers in homosexual magazines for about 1 1/2 years.

Capt. Glenn Ackerman of the Los Angeles Police Department North Hollywood Division said vice officers had found no illegal activity at The Compound. "It definitely has not been a source of problems," Ackerman said.

He said the division had no complaints about the bathhouse. "If we are made aware of illicit activity that's prohibited, of course we would take action," he said.

A representative of another Valley bathhouse, the Roman Holiday in Van Nuys, said patrons must show proof that they are 21 or over to be admitted.

An employee of The 1350 Club in North Hollywood said the requirement there is 18.

Representatives of the fourth Valley bathhouse, the Corral Club, could not be reached for comment.

The Compound is a plain, two-story building with a brick-and-wood facade.

On the front door is a decal showing a black panther with the slogan: "Compound--A Man's Preserve." Lockers and private rooms, some with TV sets and sexually oriented videotapes, are available for rent, employees said. Sexual lubricants are offered for sale.

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